17th century Kyoto map makes $94,000 at Swann Auction Galleries

A map of Kyoto produced during the 17th century was among the highlights of Swann Auction Galleries' June 3 sale in New York, selling for $93,750.

The lot shows the city as it was in around the 10th or 11th centuries before the destruction of the Heian Palace Complex, which burned down in 1227.

map Kyoto Japan
The map of Kyoto displays an extraordinary level of detail

Its chief draw is its extraordinary level of detail, with many of the houses colour coded to show the occupation and social rank of their inhabitants and the width of the streets and individual trees within the city walls picked out and labelled.

A complete set of 24 US post route maps from the 1860s and 1870s also performed well, realising $47,500 against a $30,000 estimate - up 58.3%.

The maps detail the various post offices and routes that crisscross the US and were designed for the benefit of postal workers and other travellers.

Swann commented prior to the sale that "large matching sets of post route maps are seemingly unrecorded on the market. The group's fine condition makes it still more desirable."

Other lots on offer included plates from Audubon's Birds of America to a scrapbook book containing a collection of almost 2,000 civil war covers.

We have a fascinating range of rare books and manuscripts available.

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